One of Microsoft‘s biggest ambitions is to allow cross-play across every gaming platform available. While Sony has been resistant to the idea, Nintendo and the Mobile gaming world haven’t and, as such, Microsoft now plans on growing their Xbox Live brand by porting it to iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch. Microsoft plans to disclose more information during their panel at GDC 2019 (Game Developers Conference) going on from March 18-22.
Their panel is entitled Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across Platforms (Presented by Microsoft), and will be about the following, courtesy of Windows Central:
Xbox Live is one of the largest, most engaged gaming communities on the planet with decades of experience providing managed game services to developers that save you time and unlock all of the social and engagement features that players love.
Now Xbox Live is about to get MUCH bigger. Xbox Live is expanding from 400M gaming devices and a reach to over 68M active players to over 2B devices with the release of our new cross-platform SDK.
Get a first look at the SDK to enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs.
- Xbox Live players are highly engaged and active on Xbox and PC, but now they can take their gaming achievement history, their friends list, their clubs, and more with them to almost every screen.
- This will break down barriers for developers that want their communities to mingle more freely across platforms. Combined with PlayFab gaming services, this means less work for game developers and more time to focus on making games fun.
Bringing Xbox Live to Nintendo Switch and Mobile platforms, actually checks off a lot of boxes for all parties involved. For Microsoft, it allows more gamers to have access to Xbox Live support, and everything that goes along with it, and it takes cross-play capabilities to new heights. For Nintendo, porting another service onto their unique system allows for Nintendo Switch to be a one-of-a-kind system, something they’ve been preaching since it’s release, hence why there are few streaming services available. Lastly, for Mobile, it allows further interconnection between console and mobile gamers.
The details of the expansion of Xbox Live will be revealed next month, but the question will remain, “What will Sony do?”. They could very well wash their hands of it and continue developing their own content, exclusive to PSN. They could also finally embrace cross-play, especially after they Beta tested it late in 2018 with Fortnite.
It’ll definitely be interesting to see what happens next, but the bottom line is that adding Xbox Live to nearly every platform is Microsoft changing gaming, as we know it.